The Story of How Marin Was Ruined


Marin County is a a picturesque area across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco of quaint walkable towns, with homes perched on rolling hills and a low rise, unspoiled feel. People typically move to Marin to escape the more urbanized South and East Bay and San Francisco. Eighty-three percent of Marin cannot be built on as the land is agricultural and protected open space. 

This is not stopping ABAG, developers, social equity, housing and transit advocates from pushing for high density housing near transit in Marin. Plans for high density housing have sprung up the length of the county - multiple Marin communities found themselves declared Plan Bay Area "Priority Development Areas" (PDAs) making them targets for intense high density development. These designations occurred with little or no consultation by the elected officials that had volunteered them, and without any clear understanding of obligations to develop or impact.

Residents finally came together and said they'd had enough after an unsightly 5 story, 180 unit apartment complex appeared adjacent to an existing freeway choke-point - the city that allowed it had little choice due to onerous ABAG housing quotas that if unmet left the town open to litigation by housing advocates with crippling legal bills and penalties. The last straw was the publication of a station area plan to generate transit ridership that suggested 920 more high density units be built in nearby Larkspur - another freeway bottleneck. 

This video, put together by Citizen Marin, a coalition of neighborhood groups seeking to restore local control, was put together to drive awareness of this accelerated urbanization. For Marinites the video serves as a wake up call - most moved to Marin to live in a more rural / suburban location. Marin offers some of California's most walkable and attractive downtowns already: Sausalito, Mill Valley and San Rafael. All offer the kind of small town charm that are a model for others to emulate and attract visitors and residents.

The video was written and produced by Citizen Marin's Richard Hall. The video's narrator is from San Rafael - not San Rafael in Marin County but San Rafael, Argentina, and the animation was put together by a team from Kathmandu Nepal.

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More On Cox

Cox has been debunked numerous times around the world:

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Here is a link to ANOTHER credible reference that shows urban form and transit accessibility have significant impacts on reducing energy use and GHG emissions, from a Canadians source with no "dogs in the fight" in the U.S. culture wars over this topic--and that shows "increasing transit accessiblity" (sic) is just as important as improving vehicle MPG.

A factual deep dive would have been good, too bad...

I would have been interested in a genuine deep dive into the facts with someone on the other side of the issue to get to the bottom of it. However your constant name-calling attacks (NIMBY, intellectually dishonest, conspiracy buffs, "your movement", racist...) demonstrate a lack of ability to engage on the facts, and a pre-disposition to throw a bunch of names at people who happen not to agree with you.

Marinites are sick of waking up one day to discover a committee has been rigged or politicians volunteered with the result of urbanizing their neighborhoods without any consultation or buy in. The case for transit oriented development has not only failed, it has not been made. When we question why on earth this happened, we get groundless sentiments and dogma, and then the name-calling...

This is hardly persuasive.

Marin is let off the hook

The new Plan Bay Area which attempts to allocate housing goals across the Bay Area counties states a need for about 189K new housing units of which only about 2,200 are assigned to Marin County. Of these, almost half must be deed restricted affordable units. In reality, few of these will probably be built, though perhaps a couple of developments will snake their way through the approval process. In general, Marinites will likely see little new development and can count on their houses to continue to become more valuable.


Dear Richard,

If you are going to pimp propaganda, you had better learn to lie better.

Who is "pimping propaganda"?

Who is "pimping propaganda"?

I know from looking at the consequences of 60 years of "smart growth" under a different name in the UK, who is habitually lying like a flatfish about this issue on this forum. His name begins with "R" and it is not "Richard".

Form over substance

The video is slick, but comprised of assertions unsupported by facts.

Here are the facts

Here are the facts - researched and written about extensively over the last 18 months...

The video simply condenses this.

So the "planners" assertions ARE supported by facts????

So the "planners" assertions ARE supported by facts????

Some of the biggest liars in political history IMHO.

Like "housing will be affordable" under our plan. "Traffic congestion will be reduced". "The economy will boom with newly created agglomeration economies and wealth effects".

This generation of utopian planners are no different to the ones who worked for totalitarian regimes. Winston Churchill said of Vladimir Lenin that "he is undergoing the world's most expensive economics lesson". The contemporary utopian planners are no less needy of an education, and once again the costs to millions of innocent people is massive.

Lenin Reference

"This generation of utopian planners are no different to the ones who worked for totalitarian regimes."

I guess we need to amend Godwin's Law ('s_Law) to add borderline slanderous insinuations about Stalin and Communists to Hitler and the Nazis.

Godwin's Law, Updated:

"As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Stalin, Communists, Nazis or Hitler approaches one."